The Secrets to Making More Money

By Rachael Bender

Who among us doesn't want to make more? If we're earning $50,000, we'd really like to be making $100,000. If we're making $100,000, we feel we deserve to earn $200,000 - just like the boys. Perhaps you tell yourself that to make more you'd have to work longer hours, or that only doctors and lawyers really can achieve high incomes, or that you'll need a degree from an Ivy league school to break through the glass ceiling. But what is really holding you back?

Barbara Stanny, author of "Secrets of Six Figure Women," says the person holding most women back from becoming high earners is themselves. In her book, Stanny reveals that what you really need isn't more education, longer hours or a different career - you just have to change your perspective.

"It's entirely possible for any one of us, with average intelligence, to increase our income without selling our soul. No matter how difficult your circumstances or how discouraged you feel, climbing the salary scale is entirely within your grasp," she writes.

Stanny should know. She interviewed more than 150 women who earn between $100,000 and $7 million. What she found was that these women didn't share the same educational background, work experiences or professions. A couple women hadn't finished high school, they started out in minimum wage jobs - yet somehow they overcame the obstacles and broke free from a life of under earning. In fact many of these six-figure women were once underearners. Stanny defines an underearner as someone who earns "less than they need or desire."

Here are a couple of the secrets that Stanny discovered from six-figure women:

Education and Lack of Experience Doesn't Have to Hold You Back.
One of the women that Stanny interviewed said, "I was destined for the trailer park." While working as a meter maid in Beverly Hills she started meeting wealthy people - who first started talking to her to get out of their parking ticket. What she discovered is that knack for talking to people. Soon she was introducing the people she had meet to each other - mostly setting up dates. So, she put an ad in the paper, and now charges thousands as a matchmaker.

Another woman went from being a single mother working as a secretary to a graphic designer earning six figures.

What these women discovered is that the real secret is to set your sight on a goal and be committed to doing whatever it takes to achieve your goal.

Feel the Fear. Have the Doubts. Go for it Anyway.
Every woman Stanny spoke to admitted that at some point they had doubts, felt insecure or incompetent, but she says that's just part of the game. You've got to be in it to win and winning means being uncomfortable.

"The process to getting there (earning six figures) was about going outside their comfort zone. You can have it all if you are willing to do what doesn't feel comfortable," Stanny says.

The key is to project confidence even if you don't feel it.

Learn to Speak Up.
Part of being uncomfortable means you have to speak up. You have to be willing to demand a higher salary, charge your clients more and have the confidence to walk away when you feel you deserve more than you are getting.

One of the women Stanny interviewed pointed out that "You don't get what you deserve. You get what you demand."

For many women, getting outside of their comfort zone means they have to overcome their beliefs including the belief that women can't be powerful or aggressive. And we don't have to live in fear of being called a bitch.

"Being labeled a bitch is not a bad thing," Stanny says. "That's where our power is. When we are raising our children we are ferociously protective of them. We need to learn the same thing for ourselves."

Instead of focusing on the needs of others, you need to find out what you want. Maybe a corner office isn't what's important to you. Maybe you'd really like to earn six-figures while working part-time.

Working Hard Doesn't Mean Working All the Time.
Stanny found that many of the women she interviewed reached six figures after they took their destiny into their own hands.

One consultant Stanny interviewed decided that she wanted to make more money and work less. So she started raising her fees by a couple hundred dollars for each project. What she discovered was that her clients were willing to pay more. She learned that many women undervalue themselves and what they have to contribute. Consequently, they limit their true earning potential.

Each woman discovered her own unique balance. One woman opened a restaurant in her home. Many of the women began working out of the home and some even advance more slowly in their career in order to have more time for family, Stanny says. What these women learned is that earning six figures doesn't mean work consumes your whole life.

"You don't have to work 24/7. You can cut down your hours and make more money. It's not how many hours you work; it's the focus you have when you work," Stanny explains. "Underearners tend to be scattered. High earners tend to be more focused. When they work they work. When they play, they play."

To find out more about the "Secrets of Six-Figure Women," visit Barbara Stanny's web site or buy the book on Amazon.

Also see:
Compare your salary to other working moms

Rachael Bender is the editor of, co-founder of BSM Media and president of Bender Consulting.